Council owes Mushore $52 000

HARARE - Harare City Council (HCC) owes suspended town clerk James Mushore five months’ salary amounting to more than $50 000.

Mushore — a former banker — was suspended just two weeks after his appointment in March, as Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere accused him of failing to follow proper procedure.

He was placed on forced leave without benefits in May.

Although the courts ruled that Mushore was Harare’s town clerk, deputy mayor, Chris Mbanga, blocked him from accessing his office at Town House.

Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni told the Daily News in an interview that “the town clerk’s salary is $10 475 monthly and his appointment was effective April 1”.

“His total salary arrears is $52 375. He has not yet, however, come to claim his money from us,” he said.

He added that with the city currently struggling to pay lower grade workers, the local authority would have to make a plan once Mushore claims his dues.

Mushore said: “I assume Josephine Ncube (acting town clerk) is being paid an ‘acting allowance’ which is a shocking waste of rate payers’ money. I hope that sense prevails at some stage”.

In September, Mushore insisted that he was “still HCC’s town clerk”, despite his suspension.

Following his suspension and interference by Mbanga, Mushore filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court.

“The High Court application was dismissed as not urgent and I was advised to seek recourse at the common courts but it may not be heard before next year. In the meantime, until such a communication has been proffered, I am still the town clerk,” Mushore said.

The town clerk position fell vacant in 2015 after Tendai Mahachi was fired on three months’ notice.

Mushore’s appointment caused a raucous between Local Government minster Savior Kasukuwere and Manyenyeni, with the former arguing that the decision had not been approved by the Local Government Board (LGB).

Kasukuwere also went on to suspend Manyenyeni for insubordination after appointing Mushore, despite his objection.

“At the end of the day, Mushore must accept to be subjected to the normal conditions that any other town clerk must go through. There is no politics involved in his hiring. The processes must just be followed without interfering with the LGB,” Kasukuwere argued.

“You cannot destabilise the peaceful and smooth flow of business. If he succeeds at the LGB then he will certainly become town clerk with everyone’s support. What that position requires is the support of the State. You cannot succeed if the government does not support you,” Kasukuwere said.

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